Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seniors & News of the Day: Will I Be Here For This?

When my Grandpa Tony reached 95 he wondered aloud why people were so afraid of dying.  "What would happen to me if I didn't die?" he demanded. Good point because his body couldn't be relied upon for much at that point.  I noticed shortly after that his loss of interest in the news. This was startling as he was someone who would fight you at the drop of a hat over his beloved Democrats. He was a railroad worker, member of the union, and was a family man during the Depression.  The only choice for such a person was to be a Democrat and these guys were vehement about their party. Shortly after that he died, peacefully in his sleep on his barcalounger.

Grandpa Tony had thirty years on me at this point as I am 65 but I am certainly not as in good shape as he was. Whether I have as long as he or will drop dead tomorrow, it is safe to say that the absolute best I can expect is thirty more years (what he got).

I have noticed that while I am still interested in the news, my interest in the news isn't what it once was. One qualifier now in place is the question which pops up in my head: "Will I be around for this event's taking place?" If the answer is "no", I click on ahead to the next story. I see this as an early indicator of my entering Grandpa Tony's sphere of waning news interest due to age. Other qualifiers are taking root as well.

To present my case for this, I just clicked through today's New York Times and applied this new way of thinking to the headlines. Follow along with me as I decide what news to go past or read.

There isn't a chance in hell that the Middle East situation will be solved in my lifetime. These politicians are stuck with it for what remains of my time.  I click past, my mind chiming a big NEXT!

It is hard for me to believe now, but I used to consider this a serious issue, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue as sexism. I also thought beauty pageants would go the way of the dinosaurs.  Some things never change. I click past, my mind chiming a big NEXT!

How can I say this...well, I guess there's no way around this... I love this headline and I can't imagine being at any age where I would pass it by. READ!

I absolutely love House of Cards on Netflix. These shorter niche tv miniseries on all these new media outlets is a prime pleasure for me. Plus I have to admire Robin Wright for striking out on her own after dumping Sean Penn at long last. READ!

I see a whole bunch of climate change articles but this is the one that catches my eye because the drought in Fresno, California, affects grocery availability in the here and now. It is one of America's most valuable agricultural sources. READ! 

I skip the other climate articles though because I won't be here by the time these other considerations play out. I notice in passing that there are a ton of articles about all the places which are experiencing snow, ice and record cold, just like we are. I skip all of them. I did enjoy global warming while it lasted though. NEXT!

I will never be able to wear anything that looks like this again. Why torture myself by looking at what I can't wear? NEXT!

I am always on the lookout for new books so yes, this looks very promising.  I will take my books in any genre whatsoever as long as they are good. READ! 

I think you have the drift of my news reading methods by now. Perhaps you remain as fervent about the issues of the day as you ever did with no new filtering taking pace but my guess is that at some point you too will succumb to Carol's Way.

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